Every year, there are shifts in color and materials trends, and the resurgence of yellow-gold and two-tone watches has been on the horizon for a while now. However, TAG Heuer, although having two-tone women's watches in their collection, has been somewhat slow to embrace this change. But this year, at Watches and Wonders, the brand is fully embracing the return of the 80s-style sports watch. They have just unveiled new Aquaracer Professional 200 watches in steel with 18k yellow gold and steel with 5N rose gold, catering to all wrist sizes and preferences.
Over its many years of production, the TAG Heuer Aquaracer has taken on various forms, but its latest generation of professional tool watches has primarily been crafted in steel, and occasionally titanium, to maintain its focus on functionality. The addition of solid gold represents a welcome luxurious elevation to the line, embracing the resurgence of bi-color watches and bringing a touch of elegance to the extensive collection.
The new two-tone Aquaracers are available in two distinct sizes. The first is the tried and true 40mm-wide case, while the second is a 30mm-wide option that features diamond hour markers. Both versions showcase a solid 18k gold or 5N rose gold bezel insert and winding crown. However, the hands, markers, and indices are plated with the respective precious metals. While some may see this as a compromise, it is a reasonable way to keep costs down considering the amount of material and the cost of finishing these small components.
The larger two-tone Aquaracer Professional 200 features a familiar dial with horizontal ridges reminiscent of a wooden boat deck. Although this pattern is found across the existing lineup, a fumé sunburst finish has been applied to these new models. The yellow-gold-accented watches boast a blue gradient dial that fades to match the dark-blue rubber strap, while the rose-gold options come with a smoke gray-to-black gradient dial and a black rubber strap. Both options beautifully complement the precious metal elements, creating a warm and enticing package.
The 30mm Aquaracers follow the same color schemes as their larger counterparts but feature a smoky mother-of-pearl finish and diamond indices. The faceted markers are adorned with eleven Top Wesselton diamonds (VS-rated). While the addition of diamonds and their subtle execution is always a pleasure to see, it would have been nice to have the 30mm option with standard luminous markers as well.
Building on the success of last year's Solargraph on a rubber strap, the new Aquaracer collection comes with its own rubber strap. Each watch is fitted with a supple rubber strap that features a textured center channel and smooth outer channels. The straps are equipped with a steel deployant clasp that includes an adjustment link extension. It's worth noting that the 40mm models have a functional quick-adjust system, while the 30mm models have standard drilled clasp holes for micro-adjustment. All the straps are cut to fit.
While the introduction of a two-tone version of an existing watch may not be the most groundbreaking debut at one of the largest shows of the year, it is undoubtedly a release that will find its way onto thousands of wrists worldwide. The timeless pairings of blue with yellow gold and black with rose gold have broad appeal. Additionally, compared to the significant price markup for solid precious metal watches from other Swiss brands, the cost of these bi-color sports watches from TAG Heuer is more affordable. The 40mm Aquaracer Professional 200 is priced at $5,000 USD, and the 30mm Aquaracer Professional 200 is priced at $4,700 USD.